President Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, is doing business with the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a new report revealed on Tuesday.
A large flight of financial documents called Paradise Papers revealed several weeks ago that Russian billionaire Kirill Shamanov, son of a close friend of Putin, does business with Ross, but until Tuesday, the exact connection between Shamanov and Putin was not clear. .
Katerina Tikhonova, a wealthy dancer married to Shamanov, has finally been confirmed as Putin's daughter, Reuters reported.
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Vladimir Putin has been so secretive about this daughter's identity that the Kremlinologists have spent years trying to confirm that Tikhonova is Putin's offspring . Sources previously told the media that Tikhonova was Putin's daughter, but then they stepped back and vehemently denied her comments. Now, a man who worked with Tikhonova has confirmed in the record that she is Putin's daughter. Shamanov allegedly married Tikhonova in 2013, and those attending the couple's wedding had allegedly sworn to keep the secret.
"Yes, of course," said Manfred Mohab, vice president of legal affairs at World Rock & # 39; n & # 39; Roll Confederation, when Reuters asked if Tikhonova is Putin's daughter. Mohab previously worked with Tikhonova in the confederation. Several other anonymous sources also confirmed his identity.
The revelations about Ross' Russian connections were made when Special Advisor Robert Mueller investigated whether the Trump administration colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The Paradise Documents have already revealed that Ross has won a substantial sum of money from his dealings with Russia. One of the companies in which it had a stake, a shipping company called Navigator, had a long history of agreements with a Russian gas and petrochemical company jointly owned by Shamanov, the Paradise documents revealed.
Shamanov's petrochemical industry is one of the largest in Russia and has reportedly benefited from government favoritism. For example, Shamanov's brother allegedly received a state loan of $ 1.75 billion for the company at one third of the rate paid by everyone else in Russia.
Ross' Navigator company obtained at least $ 68 million in revenue due to its badociation with Shamanov's company, The Guardian reported. The Navigator revenues of Shamanov's company almost doubled between 2014 and 2015, at the time that some of the other owners of the company were subject to US sanctions.
These are not the only connections that Ross has had with Russian elites. In 2014, Ross led an acquisition of the Bank of Cyprus, whose largest shareholder at that time was the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Some years earlier, Rybolovlev had bought a Florida mansion from Trump for $ 95 million.
The purchase price was more than double what Trump paid for the house four years earlier, and Rybolovlev had never visited the property before the purchase. In 2016, at the height of Trump's campaign for president, journalists investigated why Rybolovlev and Trump planes landed in the same cities within an hour of each other during three Trump campaign rallies.
Trump maintains that he never met Rybolovlev.
Meanwhile, Ross maintained his participation in Shamanov's company even after taking a position in the Trump administration, which some experts believe is a conflict of interest because Commerce Secretary is consulted about what Russians sanction.
Mohab told Reuters that Tikhonova's connection with Putin has helped to turn Russia into a leader in rock & # 39; n & # 39; n & # 39; acrobatic roll, a dark form of dance played by the daughter of the strong man.
In 2016, Reuters reported that a $ 30 million complex financed by public funds for rock & # 39; n & # 39; Acrobatic roll on the outskirts of Moscow, despite the fact that few people participate in the sport.